Despite the growing number of airplane delays and hiked passenger fees, today’s travelers are able fly with a sense of convenience and ease. Without mobile apps to ease air travel, flying could be a serious headache. Now you can book your flight with a few taps, discover nearby lounges and dining areas, find out how long your flight is delayed or even met someone new before boarding the plane.
Here are 13 apps to keep you informed, relaxed and entertained on your next flight.
–GateGuru (free) – TripAdvisor launched this app to provide detailed itinerary information, including security wait times, flight delays, gate changes and layover adjustments. You can also access maps, forecasted weather, rent a car and more.
–Entrain (free) – Finally, there is a cure for jetlag. Researchers from the University of Michigan devised a set of lighting schedules which correspond to time zones around the globe. Entrain allows users to monitor their circadian clocks and adjust to new time zones much faster.
–PreFlight (free) – Next time you’re in a rush to reach the airport, rest assured that your parking needs are taken care of. With this app, you can reserve a parking spot, collect reward points for parking, cancel reservations or find maps and directions to parking lots. The app is currently available at eight U.S. airports.
–USA Today AutoPilot (free) – For every itinerary need, this handy app does it all. USA Today AutoPilot consolidates your itinerary and brings you relevant content about your upcoming trip. You can access flight details, including on-time status, gate information and current weather conditions at your destination.
–LoungeBuddy (free) – Exclusive airport lounges are a thing of the past, with this innovative app that points you to a selection of accessible lounges. LoungeBuddy offers photos, hours, location, amenities, cost and reviews before you pay for entry. Glimpse more than 2,000 lounges in over 600 listed airports.
–Lounger (free) – Once you enter your lounge of choice, perhaps you are looking to meet a special someone? There’s an app for that too. Lounger is marketed as the Tinder for travelers by bringing strangers together for socializing, or even more.
–TripIt (free) – One of the top apps for planning trips, TripIt creates detailed itineraries out of forwarded travel confirmation emails. Merge hotel, airline, car rental and restaurant confirmations to organize all your plans in one place. You can even sync trips with calendars or email. It also integrates other travel apps.
–Hopper (free) – This flight scanner program recently unveiled a booking component, which lets users reserve plane tickets within the app. Hopper analyzes billions of flights to tell you when to purchase tickets for the best deals.
–Airport Maps (free) – This is a simple, yet useful aid for finding your way through more than 60 North American airports. Easily locate the next gate for your connecting flight, airport lounges or places to eat and shop on the way. No need for a signal—maps come built-in.
–iFlyPro ($4.99) – iFlyPro offers a similar package, except it has detailed coverage of more than 700 airports worldwide. However, terminal maps do require GPS connectivity.
–FlightView ($0.99) – This app is a popular flight tracker that offers real-time information on any flight. Track flights on a map with flight paths, receive alerts for your flight’s status, see where a flight is coming from or even find alternative flights.
-FlightBoard ($3.99) – Turn your mobile device into an arrival/departure board for almost any airport in the world. Access any flight time from more than 3,000 airports and 1,400 airlines. The interface is updated every five minutes and can be shared via Twitter, Facebook or email. FlightBoard is modeled after the boards used at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.
-Trakdot ($49.99) – Check your bags with peace of mind, thanks to Trackdot, a device powered by GSM-based technology that tracks your belongings. The device syncs with an app on your smartphone to report its position on the ground or inside the plane.